California bill could ban owning guns for hate crime offenders

A new California gun measure going through legislation would ban anyone from buying a gun who has been convicted of a hate crime.

As the law currently stands, people who are convicted under the violent hate crime statute are allowed the option to possess or acquire guns.

Assembly Bill 785, also known as The Disarm Act, wants to change what's being considered a loophole and is looking to, "help keep weapons out of the hands of those who have demonstrated a dangerous readiness to escalate bigotry into criminal threats and violence."

The push for this law is not something new as six other states already have a law like this in place: Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Oregon.

"Individuals who commit hate crimes tend to escalate their conduct in order to ensure their message is received by the targeted individual or community," Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D- Los Angeles), author of the bill, said in a press release.

The existing law only prevents criminals who've been convicted of certain misdemeanors from possessing guns within 10 years of conviction. Violation of this law includes imprisonment in a county jail, fine of over $1,000 or both. If this passes through legislation, then people convicted of hate crimes would be added under the existing law.

The bill unanimously passed through the Assembly last month and it now heads to a Public Safety Committee for a vote on Tuesday, June 7.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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